Be careful with yard drains

Getting rain water away from the house is a good thing

Long downspout extensions that carry rain water from the house is a good way to keep it away from your foundation.

Some people aren’t happy with the looks.  If the extension crosses over a sidewalk, it becomes a trip hazard.

Yard drains  might be an answer, if there is a low spot for the discharge. The drainpipe should slope downhill at least 1/8 in. per foot. If you had a discharge outlet 100 ft. from the inlet, it would have to be about 1 ft. lower.

To create the drain, you’ll have to dig a gradually sloping trench from the source to the outlet. Then bury a plastic catch basin at the source and connect it to the discharge with PVC drainpipe. In this system, the pipe is solid, and not perforated, so there’s no need to provide gravel for drainage along the length of the drainpipe. One advantage of a  smooth-wall pipe is that it will drain water quickly, and if it gets clogged, you can use a drain snake to clean it out.

You will need a drain pipe inlet that sits flush with the ground or sidewalk and has a grate attached. Don’t cheap out here; if you connect the downspout to the drain and the drain fills with ice, the downspout could get damaged.

Don’t direct the downspout directly into the drain pipe. Get a drain pipe inlet.

Plan on spending about $50 for an inlet

What about a “french drain”?

A French drain uses a perforated, corrugated pipe, covered with cloth and surrounded with gravel. It’s great for dealing with all kinds of drainage problems. It disperses water over a large area through a buried perforated pipe. The pipe must be surrounded by material that allows water to drain through. A French drain system can be used alone or combined with a dry well.

A properly designed French drain system does not require an outlet. The water will simply soak into the soil as it flows along the perforated pipe. In fact, a French drain doesn’t require an inlet on just one end either. You can construct the drain to accept water along its length, and disperse it underground.

I learned all this by reading an article in Handyman. You can, too!

Just click Handyman/yard.drains